Kathy Noce a mighty role model for future educators

From when she was young, North Penn FCS teacher, Kathy Noce, always knew she wanted to be a teacher. As she prepares for retirement after 25 years as a teacher, Noce can proudly say she has fulfilled all her hopes and dreams right here at North Penn High School.

After teaching in the North Penn School District for 25 years, Noce has chosen 2022 to announce her retirement. Although she will greatly miss her students and friends, she is ready to begin this new chapter of her life. Noce always knew she wanted to be a teacher but after graduating from Drexel University she had a difficult time finding a way to get her career started.

“Coming out of college there were no teaching positions open and I wasn’t willing to relocate since my family was here,” Noce stated. “I took a position as a social service agency director and was in charge of Delaware County helping provide aides to people in the area who needed one.”

Noce’s last job before becoming an FCS teacher was as an assistant dean at her alma mater, Drexel University.

Even though she struggled to find a teaching position, after only two years she converted from teaching at Interboro School District to North Penn. In her first three years in the district, she worked at Penndale Middle School as an FCS teacher but was then moved to North Penn High School as part of the District Department Chair of FCS. Being on the chair means that she is responsible for the FCS curriculum for not only the high school but all three middle schools as well. Even though she is on the board, she still teaches multiple classes.

“The courses I teach now are preschool lab 1, 2, and 3 as well as an intro to education semester classes. Preschool lab is a very fun course that allows students to be independent and create their own lesson plans for the preschoolers.” Noce said.

Noce says what keeps her coming back every year is her students and her love for watching them learn and grow as individuals.

“The things I enjoy most about teaching are my students. I always enjoy the preschool lab especially because I get to watch the interactions and relationships flourish between my students and the preschoolers,” Noce said.

Noce explained that she finds her class very different from others since her classes are electives and not required courses. She feels that she gets students who are more passionate and excited to learn.

“Being a teacher of an elective course is very different because your students choose to be here and take this class. My students always want to be here,” Noce explained.

Noce has been able to build some great relationships with her students because they all share the same passion and love for teaching as she does.

“Over the years I have built great friendships with my students and I have been so lucky to work with so many great students. I like that I can learn from them and they can learn from me. My motto is ‘I am a teacher first and then a friend’,” Noce said.

Besides the interactions between her students and the preschoolers, every year Noce gets to experience the send off of all she has mentored. The end of the year is a bittersweet moment for her and she will forever miss the emotions she feels at the end of every school year.

“My favorite memories every year are the senior graduations as well as our preschool graduations. Yes, you get to watch the little ones grow but you also watch your students grow. Every year I know I am sending students to college who are going on to do great things whether they choose to become a teacher or not,” Noce said.

In retirement, Noce has plenty to do to keep her busy including visiting her children and grandchildren.

“I have three grandsons, one lives in Florida and my youngest son is now moving to California. So I hope to be with my grandchildren a lot more and do more of the grandparent thing.” Noce was also very excited because she will be welcoming a new grandchild in September.

Over the years, Noce had some goals that she always knew were her main goals as a teacher. She knew reaching them would present some difficulties all in itself but if she stayed focused on what teaching really means to her, her goals would come much more easily.

“One of my biggest goals I had as a teacher was to be a role model for my students,” Noce explained. “I wanted to demonstrate how to be motivated, have fun and just have passion. Passion is so important with a job like teaching.”

When asked if she felt she was able to achieve these goals Noce smiled and simply responded with “Yes.”

Through all of her year’s teaching, Noce has learned many things about herself and her students. Even though she is retiring she knows she can continue to carry what she learned with her, “In my sixth period class we have a motto I will never forget: remember you may be small but you are mighty.”